Epsom & Ewell MP votes for ‘concrete cover-up’ to hide list of schools and hospitals in state of disrepair

3 Nov 2023
Helen

 

EPSOM & EWELL MP VOTES FOR ‘CONCRETE COVER-UP’TO

HIDE LIST OF SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS IN STATE OF DISREPAIR

Chris Grayling MP is being accused of a ‘concrete cover-up’ after he voted against a Liberal Democrat amendment which would have forced the Government to publish a register of schools and hospitals in Epsom & Ewell that are not fit for purpose.

The Lib Dem amendment to the Levelling Up Bill would have forced the Government to publish a full register of schools and hospitals in Epsom & Ewell and across the country that are in a state of serious disrepair; including schools and hospitals affected by aero-concrete (RAAC) and asbestos. 

This list would have to be published within one month of the bill passing and regularly updated on a three-month basis, with up-to-date information. 

In August, the Government found themselves engulfed in a RAAC crisis which forced schools to close days before returning from their summer break. This included Danetree primary school in West Ewell.. Initially they refused to name the schools affected by these closures but bowed to pressure to release the list. 

Despite this, 301 Conservative MPs including Grayling voted this week (Tuesday 17 October) to cover-up the full list of schools and hospitals that could follow suit and hide important information about the state of buildings from the public. 

It comes following Rishi Sunak blocking plans to rebuild hospitals that were falling apart and rejecting pleas by Department of Education officials for an extra £900 million a year for school funding in the 2021 Spending Review during his tenure as Chancellor. 

Helen Maguire, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Epsom & Ewell said:

“It’s shameful that Chris Grayling and this Conservative Government has once again chosen to cover-up information from their constituents rather than be transparent.

“Their refusal to be honest and their continued efforts to hide this information is shocking; in Epsom & Ewell, we have a right to know if our schools and hospitals are liable to collapse or filled with toxic asbestos. 

“If Chris Grayling won’t fight for adequate funding to repair our schools and hospitals, the least they can do is tell constituents which buildings are affected.

“This is just another example of Grayling and this Conservative Government taking people in Epsom & Ewell for granted and playing them for fools.” 

ENDS

 

 

Notes to Editors: 

 

A full list of MPs and how they voted is available here. The 301 Conservative MPs listed as voting Aye all voted to reject the Lib Dem amendment.

Text of the full amendment passed by the House of Lords: 

 

After Clause 214

Insert the following new Clause—

 

“Regeneration of schools and hospitals: register of serious disrepair

  1. Within one month of the day on which this Act is passed the Secretary of State must establish a register of schools and hospitals in England in serious disrepair.

 

(2) The register must comprise of a list of—

(a) schools that have been partially or fully closed on a temporary or permanent basis because one or more school building was deemed unsafe for staff or pupils,

(b) schools that have classrooms or buildings on site that are closed due to disrepair and details of those classrooms or buildings,

(c) schools that require major rebuilding or refurbishment,

(d) hospitals that have been partially or fully closed on a temporary or permanent basis because one or more hospital building was deemed unsafe for staff or pupils,

(e) hospitals that have rooms, wards or buildings on site that are closed due to disrepair and details of those rooms, wards or buildings, and

(f) hospitals that require major rebuilding or refurbishment.

 

(3) The register must be reviewed every three months to ensure it contains up-to-date information.”

 

Member's explanatory statement

This amendment would require the Government to keep a register of schools and hospitals in serious disrepair, and ensure the register is regularly updated.

 

The amendment was tabled on 5th July 2023.  

 

ENDS